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National supports raising doctors fees

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

24 July 2006 Media Release

National supports raising doctors fees

Confirmation that the National Party supports raising the cost of seeing the family doctor is another reminder of how far National is prepared to go in pursuit of reckless tax cuts, Health Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

At the National Party conference this weekend, Health Spokesman Tony Ryall attacked the Labour-led government's work to lower the cost of doctors visits and prescription drugs for all New Zealanders. Mr Ryall refused to rule out cuts to the primary health care budget to fund tax cuts.

"The Labour-led government believes that no family should have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for a doctors visit for their kids," Pete Hodgson said. "National apparently believes otherwise.

"Tony Ryall and the National Party have said they don't agree with Labour's work to lower the cost of primary health, but won't confirm if they have the political courage to actually put their beliefs into policy – they know that cheaper doctors visits and prescription drugs have been warmly welcomed by New Zealanders.

"Tony Ryall is now telling us we have to wait for 'a year or so' to actually see National's health policy – this is after 7 long years in opposition. They could be honest with the electorate today if they wanted to."

ENDS

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